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Anaheim Signs Shattenkirk; Grant Returns
By Richard Gonzalez
The free-agent frenzy kicked off today with a trade between the Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets, that saw Paul Stastny going back to the Jets. We saw a couple of former franchise goalies find different homes. Beloved former Ducks player, Bobby Ryan goes to the Detroit Redwings on a one-year deal. The Ducks recently cleared $4 million in cap space, so the eyes were on them to bid on players.
The following former Ducks players became unrestricted free agents: Kevin Boyle, Kyle Criscuolo, Michael Del Zotto, Patrick Eaves, Max Gortz, Matt Irwin, Ryan Miller, Chris Mueller, Blake Pietila, and Chris Wideman. Miller is still considering retirement and the Ducks are letting him take his time. Eaves is set to retire, and it is unlikely the rest of the group will be back with the Ducks. Irwin signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres. Criscuolo and Boyle each sign one-year deals with the Redwings. Kiefer Sherwood signed a one-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche.
It was a quiet start for the Ducks until the third hour into free agency opening. Anaheim signed Derek Grant to a three-year deal, worth $4.5 million ($1.5 million AAV) per Cap Friendly. Grant was traded by the Ducks to the Philadelphia Flyers at the deadline in exchange for Criscuolo and a 2020 fourth-round draft pick (Thimo Nickl). Grant played in 49 games with the Ducks and scored 20 points (16 goals and four assists). Prior to the pandemic stoppage, Grant played in seven games with the Flyers and scored five points (goal and four assists). He also recorded two assists in 15 playoff games.
Minutes later, the Ducks signed Stanley Cup Champion, Kevin Shattenkirk, to a three-year deal ($3.9 million AAV) per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. The deal also includes a modified 12-team no trade clause for all three years per The Fourth Period. The Ducks attempted to sign Shattenkirk last season after he was bought out by the New York Rangers. He opted to sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he scored 34 points (8 goals and 26 assists) in 70 games. He also scored 13 points (three goals and ten assists) in 25 playoff games and captured his first Stanley Cup.
On Twitter, 72% said they liked the Grant signing. 13% said they did not and 13% said they were unsure. On Twitter, 79% liked the Shattenkirk signing. 5% said they did not like it and 17% said they were unsure. On Instagram, 94% liked the Grant signing and 6% said they did not like it. 86% said they liked the Shattenkirk signing and 16% said they did not.
I like both of the signings by the Ducks. Grant was projected to be back with the Ducks, but it was nice to see it official. He was on his way to hitting the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career. Only needed five more prior to the NHL stoppage and he was used as a bottom-six forward. He fits well with the team and seems to have success with the Ducks. A $1.5 million AAV is a great deal for him and he earned it. The only problem is, it seems like there is going to be a log jam of bottom-six forwards so someone else is likely on the move.
Shattenkirk is a top-four right-shot defenseman that Bob Murray wanted last season. His deal is not a bad one at all and can create chances on the blue line. He can also help the atrocious power play and create chances for other Ducks players. I can see him playing with Cam Fowler eating top-line minutes. Shattenkirk instantly boosts our defensive core and I look forward to having his experience on the team. Also worth noting that he has worn the number 22 for the last four teams he played for. Wore 12 during his rookie season. I wonder if he would ask Sonny Milano for 22 or will he go back to 12?
Overall, it was not a bad day for the Ducks.
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October 9th, 2020